AUA angered about brothel posters at VIA

Austrian Airlines (AUA) co-chief Andreas Bierwirth has launched a scathing attack on Vienna International Airport (VIA).Bierwirth said today (Weds) “certain aspects” of the airport were “abysmal”.”Passengers experience the airport as part of our own services,” he explained.Asked what he was especially unhappy about, the businessman mentioned advertisement posters for brothels in VIA’s arrival area. Bierwirth said such commercials would offend travellers from the Arab region.The AUA co-chief also criticised overflowing rubbish containers. “We need VIA to reach the quality standard of Zurich and Munich,” he stressed.These statements come just weeks after Peter Malanik, the airline’s other co-chief, criticised VIA’s “comparably high costs” for aviation firms and customers and its “poor service”.Malanik said Austria’s biggest airport was “at risk of falling behind” in competition with other European airports.VIA officials reacted by offering to meet AUA decision-makers for talks. “AUA has always been a reliable and important business partner of ours,” a spokesman for the airport said at the time.Around 50 per cent of all flights departing and arriving at VIA are operated by AUA.Bierwirth also said today he hoped AUA’s long-haul flight operations would be in the black in 2011 after a string of years making losses. The company, which was taken over by German firm Lufthansa last year, currently operates 10 planes on long-distance flights.It recently restarted offering connections to Mumbai, India, after axing the route two years ago as part of cost-cutting measures. Bierwirth said the company has considered introducing another long-distance destination to its schedule, but ruled out that it would start flying to Iraqi capital Baghdad again in the near future.AUA, which suffered losses of 44.4 million Euros between January and September, is expected to reduce its current staff number of 6,600 to around 6,000 by the end of this year.Lufthansa announced recently it was confident AUA would be making profit again as early as next year.